Released as an advance online publication in the “Breast Cancer Research and Treatment” journal, the work can help, not only in the early detection and treatment of the disease, but also gives a better understanding of the mechanisms behind it.
DNA repair genes, as the name indicates, repair damaged DNA in a process crucial for cancer prevention. In fact, all over the body genetic mutations are constantly occurring and being fixed through several DNA repair mechanisms and so avoid the accumulation of harmful mutations that can ultimately lead to cancer. As consequence it has been suggested that problems in the body’s DNA repair mechanisms/genes can facilitate the development of cancer.
Following this idea, Sandra Costa, Fernando Schmitt and colleagues in Portugal and Spain, decided to test if it was possible to correlate different forms of four major DNA repair genes existent in the human population to different susceptibilities to breast cancer. In fact, different individuals can present small differences in the DNA sequence of a gene, as it happens, for example, with the gene for eye colour where the variations give origin to the different colours. These different DNA sequences appear as result of mutations and are called genetic polymorphisms.
For this study Costa, Schmitt and colleagues analysed 285 breast cancer patients and 442 healthy controls looking at several genetic polymorphisms in four major DNA repair genes - XRCC1, XPD, RAD51 and XRCC3 - and their relationship with breast cancer incidence.
It was found that women carrying the genetic polymorphism XRCC1 399Gln and who had no family history of breast cancer, had not only less disease than healthy controls, but it was also found that disease, when it occurred, started later in life. This result suggested that XRCC1 399Gln had a protective effect against breast cancer.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, a genetic polymorphism in the XRCC3 gene - XRCC3 241Met - increased susceptibility to the disease and accelerated disease onset. Again this was only observed in women without a family history of breast cancer.
Finally, the team of researchers found that the polymorphism RAD51 135C increased the risk of breast cancer, this time in the group of women that belonged to families with previous cases of the disease. Variations in the fourth gene studied – XPD – did not show any effect in the incidence of breast cancer at least among the groups and the polymorphisms analysed in this work
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among women. According to the World Health Organization every year more than 1 million of people will be diagnosed worldwide with the disease, while 1 in 8 women will develop it during their lifetime. Nevertheless, nowadays, a diagnostic of breast cancer has a relatively good prognosis much due to the development of disease awareness and frequent screenings among women - especially those belonging to higher risk groups - allowing earlier detection (and treatment) of the disease
The work by Costa, Schmitt and colleagues, by suggesting that XRCC1 Arg399Gln, XRCC3 Thr241Met and RAD51 G135C can be used as markers for different cancer susceptibilities, helps not only to elucidate the mechanisms behind disease, but can be also crucial in the early identification of those high risk cases. These are interesting results for breast cancer, which by being the result of a complex interaction of inherited as well as environmental factors is still far from being understood and/or controlled.Piece researched and written by: Catarina Amorim
Catarina Amorim | alfa
Unique genome architectures after fertilisation in single-cell embryos
30.03.2017 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering